Traditions celebrated in the UK on this day include ‘first footing’, where the first person to cross the threshold of a house after midnight brings a piece of coal and salt
On this day in 1959, the USSR satellite, Luna 1, was launched. Luna 1 is still in orbit around the Sun.
The author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit was born on this day in 1892.
Inventor of braille, now used and adapted into almost every language was born on this day in 1809
On 7th January 1875, the first successful crossing of the English Channel in a balloon was completed.
Known as ‘The King’, the world famous rock and roll singer was born 1935.
On this day in 1951, the UN headquarters in New York opened.
The first part of the London Underground – The Metropolitan Railway – opened on this day in 1863.
The famous English author died on this day in 1928.
On this day in 1898, Lewis Carroll, the English writer and mathematician, died. He was 65 years old. The writer of books including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The civil rights activist was born on this day in 1929.
On this day in 2001, a fuel tanker ran aground off the island of San Cristobal. A few days later, around 180 thousand gallons of fuel was released into the sea – causing huge damage to the area’s plant and animal life.
On this date in 1912, famous explorer Robert Scott and his party arrived at the South Pole, narrowly missing out on being the first to reach it.
Creator of Winnie the Pooh was born on this day in 1882.
On this day in 1976, the first commercial Concorde flights took to the skies.
This famous Victorian monarch died on this day in 1901.
On this day in 1973, US president Richard Nixon appeared on national television to announce a peace deal with Vietnam
On this day in 1965, Sir Winston Churchill, former Primer Minister, died at the age of 90.
The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, was born on this day in 1759.
On this day in 1986, the American space shuttle, Challenger, exploded just over a minute into its flight. Its crew included teacher Christa McAuliffe.
Thick fog – the worst for seven years – brought road, rail and air transport in many parts of England and Wales to a standstill.
On this day in 1649, King Charles I was beheaded in Whitehall, in front of the Banqueting House.
On this day in 1983, all drivers and front seat passengers were, by law, required to wear seat belts. Later, in 1991, it became compulsory for back seat passengers to also wear seat belts.
On this day in 1884, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), considered the most comprehensive and accurate dictionary of the English language, was first published.
Copyright © 2008-2019 Scholastic Ltd.